Stateline, NV – The Lake Tahoe Basin came one step closer to having an updated Regional Plan, the blueprint for a sustainable future, as the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency presented draft documents of the Regional Plan Update at a two-day Governing Board meeting this week.
In her opening statements before the Governing Board, TRPA’s Executive Director, Joanne S. Marchetta spoke of the moment as a milestone for both the Agency and the Tahoe Basin.
“This is a proud day for TRPA,” Marchetta said. “We’ve raised the bar on the scientific rigor of our work here at the Agency to the benefit of the Lake and the Basin.”
Highlights of the meetings included presentations on the Threshold Evaluation Report which offers a snapshot of the health of the ecosystem in the Tahoe Basin. TRPA tracks 151 environmental standards and made a status determination on 92 of these standards. Of these, 63 percent were attained or implemented and 37 percent have not been attained.
For the first time, an independent panel of scientists coordinated by the Tahoe Science Consortium reviewed the 2011 Report. In his presentation before the Governing Board, Dr. James Mahoney, Chair of the TRPA Independent Scientific Review Panel stated, “This is, overall, a top-level report with no major flaws. I would judge this report, out of the 30 peer reviews I’ve done, as among the best.”
Day one of the Governing Board meeting also included presentations on the Regional Plan Update Draft Goals and Polices and Draft Code of Ordinances, in addition to the Draft Mobility 2035 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy.
Day two included presentations on the Regional Plan Update Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Regional Transportation Plan draft environmental document. All documents and presentations are available for download on TRPA’s web site at trpa.org. In addition, TRPA has posted seven one-page fact sheets that provide an easy-to-read overview of the priorities, goals and recommendations presented in the draft Regional Plan Update.
During the public comment period, dozens of people stepped forward to weigh in on the draft documents.
“The Regional Plan Update offers a way forward to improving the environment and economy of the Tahoe Basin,” said Carl Ribaudo, President of the Strategic Marketing Group. “There is an environmental cost to not moving forward.”
“This Regional Plan Update is a great plan with good science behind it,” added Dr. Clint Purvance of Barton Health.
During public deliberations, the Governing Board voted to allow a 60-day time period for public comment on the draft environmental documents in an effort to ensure adequate time for review of the final Regional Plan prior to the Governing Board’s scheduled vote in December 2012. There was concern on the part of Governing Board members that extending the public input period of the draft environmental documents would compromise review time of the final regional plan later in the year. In addition, there was considerable concern that an extension would delay passage of the Regional Transportation Plan, potentially compromising millions of dollars of federal transportation investments slated for the Tahoe Basin.
“It is time to get this done,” said Claire Fortier, Mayor of South Lake Tahoe and a member of TRPA’s Governing Board.
Numerous meetings and workshops have been planned around the Tahoe Basin to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the draft Regional Plan Update environmental documents though June 28 including:
May 21, 2012 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Public Workshop on the Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Plan, The Chateau, 955 Fairway Boulevard, Incline Village, NV.
May 22, 2012 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Public Workshop on the Regional Transportation Plan and Regional Plan, TRPA Office Board Rooms, 128 Market Street, Stateline, NV.
May 23, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. TRPA Governing Board meeting public hearings, North Tahoe Events Center, 8318 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, CA.
May 24, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. TRPA Governing Board meeting public hearings, TRPA Office Board Rooms, 128 Market Street, Stateline, NV.
June 27, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. TRPA Governing Board public hearings, North Tahoe Events Center, 8318 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, CA.
June 28, 2012 – 9:30 a.m. TRPA Governing Board public hearings, TRPA Office Board Rooms, 128 Market Street, Stateline, NV.
There will be ongoing opportunities for the public to comment on the draft Regional Plan throughout the summer, and then again on the final plan into the fall. Members of the public can also send their comments on the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan Update to firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Regional Transportation Plan to email@example.com.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency cooperatively leads the effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region now and in the future. For additional information, call Kristi Boosman at (775) 589-5230 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .